Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hoooping it UP!

by Barbara Bechtel

I'm really excited about the current Art Jewelry Boot Camp topic is hoops! Hoop Earrings are my favorite style of earring to make and with multiple techniques and endless variations of beads and dangles, you can see where it becomes a fun challenge to try to hoop it up!

I thought I would give you a little personal history tour today of some of my favorites I've made since I became hypnotized by the hoop....

This is my very first hoop I attempted to make on my own about 3 years ago when I began to make more of my own components.... I was searching for ways to make some different earring pairs from polymer clay. (If you're interested on how to make this style of hoop, the complete instructions and these earrings appear in the Winter 2011/12 Issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry, pgs. 121,128)

Smitten with that easy wire wrap style, I started looking at using the hoops as frames for my beads, in varying styles as shown above.  This is a very easy and addictive way to make large (yet light) statement earrings for everyday.

Getting bolder and wanting to fine tune my metal work, I started to use very large heavy gauge wire to form more substantial hoops and even branch outside the tradition round, as in the almond shape above.

By leaving the hoop open, you can achieve different affects, like this earring, above which I call my squash blossom earring, drawing my inspiration from Native American squash blossom necklaces of the Southwest.

These are more current and have become a best seller. I vary the size/gauge of the metal and the shape occasionally, but lately I tend to let the simplicity of the hoops speak for itself! A teardrop shape just like those above are even my own everyday earrings!


Kathy Lindemer said...

Congrats on some wonderful earrings!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I love the teardrop shape also! Those are definitely my favorites :o)

Stacie said...

I was inspired by your open hoops and riffed on them today...wrote about it for tomorrow's post!

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